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Max Verstappen

Verstappen: 2021 best start to F1 season in my time with Red Bull

Max Verstappen has had a scintillating start to the 2021 Formula 1 season, taking the win at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix by 22 seconds over Sir Lewis Hamilton after narrowly missing out on victory at the first race of the season in Bahrain. The Red Bull driver explains why the team has had such a strong start to the year.

Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull have had their strongest start to an F1 season for some years in 2021. The team were the fastest car on the grid during winter testing, and carried that form over into the first race with Max Verstappen securing pole position in Bahrain.

Verstappen would ultimately go on to lose that race in controversial circumstances, but bounced back to win in Imola last time out in convincing fashion, overtaking the Mercedes of Sir Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1 before going on to dominate and finish 22 seconds clear of the world champion.

The Dutch driver is looking like a serious title contender this year, and ahead of the next race at Portimao in Portugal this weekend, he said in a Q&A with the team that this season has been the strongest start they have had in his time in the seat.

"I'm happy with what we have with the RB16B, it’s faster, it has more grip and better balance. We lost downforce with the floor, but I think we lost a bit less than other teams and it shows that we made a good step forward," he said.

"We’re starting the season strong, the best we’ve had since I’ve been with the Team. It’s a long season, and if we want to fight for the championship, we have to keep improving."

Verstappen added that the confidence of knowing the car was capable of taking pole positions had only helped the team's momentum, which he was looking forward to taking on to this weekend's race in Portugal.

"I am looking forward to going back to Portugal, we were on the podium there last year and I think we have a better car now so I’m looking forward to extracting everything we can from the car and have a bit of fun out there," he said.

"Every race weekend so far, we’ve really felt that there is a chance to win, it feels like a different mindset now when you know you can fight for pole.

"We’ve definitely learnt a lot over the years, I’m very excited to see what is ahead of us. It won’t be easy but we are going to do everything we can to stay in the fight this season."

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